Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather's su

Are you looking for an Italian surname? Do you need more information about your family heritage?
This is the right place to start your genealogy search.
User avatar
cannoli
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 44
Joined: 08 Jul 2010, 21:31

Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather's su

Postby cannoli » 08 Jul 2010, 21:36

I'm looking for documentation for my great grandfather from Floridia, Siracusa, Sicily (born 1891 or 1892). He was born Giuseppe Mazzarella. His father died and mother remarried. Giuseppe Mazzarella became Giuseppe Romano. This happened before 1907.

Can anyone suggest what sort of document I could request from Italy that would show a legal name change?

Thank you!

User avatar
PeterTimber
Master
Master
Posts: 6817
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 18:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby PeterTimber » 08 Jul 2010, 22:33

are you sure he was formally adopted and not just used the name Romano when his mom got married? What were you told about the name he used to enter the USA? Maybe he entered as Mazzarella and not Romano in which case you can obtain his original birth record from the city, town or village where he was born....this is the place you have to request his document(s). =Peter=
~Peter~

User avatar
cannoli
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 44
Joined: 08 Jul 2010, 21:31

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby cannoli » 09 Jul 2010, 04:08

Thanks, Peter.

Giuseppe entered the US as Romano. I don't know that a formal adoption took place. It could be, as you suggested, that he just began using his step-father's surname when his mother remarried.

I'm wondering what documentation would be required to show this. Any thoughts?

User avatar
maestra36
Master
Master
Posts: 3422
Joined: 19 Oct 2007, 00:00

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby maestra36 » 09 Jul 2010, 10:36

The only time I have encountered a legal surname change in the Italian records was in the case of an abandoned child who, at almost three years old, was reclaimed by his natural parents. At birth, he had been assigned an invented surname by the town official. When his natural parents reclaimed him, they went to a town notary who legally changed his surname to that of the natural father. The information appeared in a record called an act of recognition. I have never encountered an Italian record for an individual whose mother remarried and whose surname changed as a result of that. I agree with Peter that maybe your ancestor just chose to use the surname of the step-father. Normally in the case of remarriage in Italy, the child retained his own surname and not that of the new spouse of the mother.

User avatar
MaurizioPerrone
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 68
Joined: 09 Jun 2009, 22:22
Location: Savona (Italia) - USA

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby MaurizioPerrone » 09 Jul 2010, 12:17

I do not think this is possible to "informally" use some other surname because the mother is remarry. Because in Italy, the law for the registration of the births (the surname) and marriages was very specific. So for an example when our grandfathers go to marry in Italy, they must present their birth act, and so it would be impossible for man to use some surname that is different from the birth act (unless there is official change made by the notary, and there will always be some document for these change or at least some notation on the original birth act).

For illegitimate child who is given the fantasy surname, sure, there are many example when the mother will come to recognize the child, and then sometime the child will take her surname. Or the parent will be marry and then they both come to recognize the child and the child take the natural father surname. But this is all official documentation and found on notation on the original birth act, or sometime the allegati.

Have you seen the original birth act of Giuseppe Mazzarella (not the extract, but the original act)? Sometime you will find informations (notation) on the margin.

Of course, when your grandfather goes to America, he is far from the Italian laws and probably he can just use any name he want when he arrive there? So maybe he did not become Romano until he arrives in America?

User avatar
PeterTimber
Master
Master
Posts: 6817
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 18:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby PeterTimber » 09 Jul 2010, 12:18

There are 480 Giuseppe Romano listed in the Ellisisland.org website entering the USA at NYC. Can you further identify your Grandfather beyond his birth year 1890+-?

The Italian government used passports for INTERNAL USE in Italy starting in 1869 while the USA and other countries didnot require passports so many Italians left Italy without an official "passport". The Italian passport was used to make sured Italian men did not emigrate to avoid military draft. The police were then and still maintain responsiblity for passport issuance. The QUESTURA (head of the internal police in each province) is the issuing authorityin Italy.

You can request passport information but the the archives are not open to the public so that you may wish to check with the UFFICIO ANAGRAFE (census or registrars office) in each comune. This office keeps records of residency changes and emigration and re-entry along with dates. =Peter=
~Peter~

User avatar
PeterTimber
Master
Master
Posts: 6817
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 18:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby PeterTimber » 09 Jul 2010, 14:38

...In the event you wish to obtain his military records (if he served in the Italian army prior to immigrating to the USA) please let us know so we can direct you accordingly to the Siracusa provincial Military records archives in Siracusa itself which is the provincial capital for the province. =Peter=
~Peter~

User avatar
cannoli
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 44
Joined: 08 Jul 2010, 21:31

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby cannoli » 09 Jul 2010, 22:26

Thank you for all the input!

My GGF's Italian passport dated 1907 lists him as Giuseppe Romano. All US documents also identify him as Romano. I do not have a copy of his birth certificate. I have requested microfilms of Floridia's documents from the Mormon Church in Salt Lake City, but they have not yet arrived.

I am hoping that I can find the marriage record for Giuseppe's birth parents, the death record of his birth father, and the marriage record of his mother and step-father. Do you believe that chain of documents would be significant evidence to show that Giuseppe Mazzarella and Giuseppe Romano are the same person?

Yes, there are many Giuseppe Romano's at Ellis Island. I haven't been able to determine which one is my GGF. I have several documents that state he arrived May 8, 1908.

The best information that I have:
Born (Mazzarella): 1891 or 1892
Italian passport (Romano): 1907
Arrived New York (Romano): 1908?

At what age was military service? I don't believe he was in the Italian military. He was ~17 when he arrived in New York.

User avatar
PeterTimber
Master
Master
Posts: 6817
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 18:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby PeterTimber » 09 Jul 2010, 23:08

Conscription into the Italian military commenced in 1865 at age 18 so he must not have served if your records are accurate. His internal Italian passport was not an official passport for international travel as I stated previously. His passport was issued to him as required for Italian army puposes to move within Italy.

You might, as I stated above, write to the UFFICIO ANAGRAFE in his town of origin and request any record for your grandfathers possible residency changes and emigration from Italy to the USA.

If yhou wish you can request from this office a CERTIFICATO DI STATO DI FAMIGLIA STORICO which is a family certificate showing the date and place of birth of each family member with his father (your grandfathers father) as head of family. =Peter=
~Peter~

User avatar
misbris
Master
Master
Posts: 2263
Joined: 14 Jan 2007, 00:00
Location: NJ

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby misbris » 10 Jul 2010, 01:01

I think we can find his manifest if you can give us a few more clues.

Do you know:

His mother's maiden name and the first name of his step-father?
Names of any siblings?
Where he settled when he arrived?

Are you getting years of birth and immigration from census records or family documents?

User avatar
carmine1917
Elite
Elite
Posts: 269
Joined: 07 Apr 2008, 02:10
Location: New York

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby carmine1917 » 10 Jul 2010, 11:53

I had this same problem looking for my great-grandfather's birth record, he was illegetimate. Through research done when my sister lived in Italy, we found out the town he was born in. Than I went through the WWI registration and got his exact birthdate. I went to the Family History Center and ordered the films from the town and there he was.

If you know the town he was born in, go to the Family History Center and order that year of birth.

User avatar
johnnyonthespot
Master
Master
Posts: 5229
Joined: 04 Aug 2008, 15:01
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby johnnyonthespot » 10 Jul 2010, 12:10

cannoli wrote:Yes, there are many Giuseppe Romano's at Ellis Island. I haven't been able to determine which one is my GGF. I have several documents that state he arrived May 8, 1908.

The best information that I have:
Born (Mazzarella): 1891 or 1892
Italian passport (Romano): 1907
Arrived New York (Romano): 1908?


Just to clarify, are you certain he arrived via Ellis Island? Huge numbers of Italian immigrants came in through Boston and a lesser number through Philadelphia ports, not to mention other ports such as New Orleans, Canada, etc.

The ellisisland.org website lists arrivals only for Ellis Island. You will have to look elsewhere (ancestry . com, for example)for other ports of entry.

As to your date of May 8, 1908 (another post), only two ships arrived in New York on that date, the Spartan Prince which sailed from Rio de Janeiro, and the Mauretania which sailed from Liverpool and Queenstown. I don't see a Romano on either list.
Carmine

My hobby is finding things. Having found most of my own, I am happy to help others find theirs. PM me! :)

User avatar
carmine1917
Elite
Elite
Posts: 269
Joined: 07 Apr 2008, 02:10
Location: New York

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby carmine1917 » 10 Jul 2010, 12:49

It took me 2 years to find my grandmother's parents ellis island manifest and I found it on ancestry. (I was not totally focused on one side of the family)

Have you contacted Chambers Street in Manhattan, they have many marriage certificates and on this you can find his parents names.

Also, my grandfather's name is not in the database correctly. Someone at ellis island told me that when the volunteers entered the name in the database they did not magnify the manifest. I could see clearly on the manifest that it is U not a V. I have emailed Ellis Island more than one time to fix this, but they still have not.

Did you look at the Castle Garden website? There are a lot of manifest that are not complete and online. If you live in the NY area try going to NARA or the NY Public library, even the FHC has microfilms.

User avatar
PeterTimber
Master
Master
Posts: 6817
Joined: 16 Dec 2007, 18:57
Location: Yonkers NY

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby PeterTimber » 10 Jul 2010, 14:54

Nothing is going to happen until we hear from the inquirer guys. =peter=
~Peter~

User avatar
cannoli
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 44
Joined: 08 Jul 2010, 21:31

Re: Adoption papers? Great grandfather took stepfather'

Postby cannoli » 10 Jul 2010, 18:42

Thank you for all your help!

Giuseppe's mother's maiden name is: Sebastiana More (or Mure)

Giuseppe's step-father's name is: Francesco Romano

I don't know of any siblings for Giuseppe.

Giuseppe's marriage certificate from January 6, 1913, shows his residence as 254 East 150th Street, New York, New York. After that he lived in East Hartford, and later in West Suffield, and Somers, Connecticut. (Other documents show a marriage on December 20, 1912 in New York, New York. I have requested marriage certificates from NYC for 1912 and 1913. Family lore says there were in fact two weddings).

I am relying on family notes for Giuseppe's date of arrival. I don't know that he arrived at Ellis Island. I think it is just what family assumes. A petition to sponsor his brother-in-law lists Giuseppe's arrival in the U.S. as May 8, 1908.

Giuseppe's birth date is listed as March 1, 1891 on all documents (U.S. naturalization, U.S. passport from 1953, a petition to sponsor his brother-in-law in 1954). However, one family member (Giuseppe's daughter) believes his true birth date is February 29. She remembers that he was born in a leap year. If this is true, his true date of birth could be February 29, 1892. Census records show conflicting dates of arrival for Giuseppe. 1920 census: 1903. 1930 census: 1907.

I have requested LDS microfilms from Floridia, Sicily, hoping to find Giuseppe's birth, his birth father's death, and his mother's two marriages.


Return to “Italian Genealogy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 9 guests